More than 30 million adults in the United States have such low literacy skills that pursuing higher education or obtaining a good job that adequately supports a family are out of reach. The need for ongoing adult literacy programs currently, and in the future, is great.
This case study research examined the identities, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of youth and young adult struggling readers, attending a community literacy program (CLP) located in the Southwest. The researcher conducted interviews and observations of four young adult men ranging from ages 17 through 32 who were participating in programs offered at the community literacy program. Additionally, interviews were conducted with the CLP staff and the participants’ tutors to obtain an in-depth look at how the literacy intervention programs are designed to meet the learners’ unique needs. Also, an interview was conducted with a parent of one participant.
The research examined how these youth and young adults identity themselves with regard to literacy, learning and life, and their values, beliefs and attitudes towards literacy in and outside of the community program. Additionally, the study explored how these learners experienced the community literacy program and how literacy figured in their daily work and home activities.
All participants acknowledged the importance of good reading and writing skills to a achieving a successful life, however, each individual discussed barriers to improving their literacy skills in a timely manner. Learners confirmed much of what we know about how limited robust, early language and literacy experiences can set the course for literacy development for the future. They also discussed their recollections of school that did not facilitate literacy learning or engagement with school. Learners revealed that the community literacy program offered them a safe environment to improve their literacy skills. They acknowledged that having a skilled, knowledgeable tutor who can tailor the learning experience to their particular needs is vital to help them increase their reading and writing skills and to keep them motivated.
|Advisor:||Markel, Sherry L.|
|Commitee:||Boreen, Jean M., Cockrum, Ward A., Fetsco, Thomas G.|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|Department:||Teaching and Learning/Educational Specialities|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Literacy, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||Adult readers, Adults, Attitudes, Community programs, Literacy, Motivation, Tutoring|
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